Medical Definition of Interleukin-1 converting enzyme
Cytoplasmic cysteine protease that is uniquely responsible for cleaving proIL-1_ (31 or 33 kD) into mature IL-1_ (17.5 kD), the active cytokine is then released by a nonstandard mechanism (there is no signal sequence and it does not pass through the Golgi).
The enzyme seems to be composed of two nonidentical subunits derived from a single proenzyme. The ICE gene has some homology with the ced 9 gene of C. Elegans, the product of which is involved in mediating cell death by apoptosis.
(11 Mar 1998)
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